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versation, stating, “I want to start by saying I am a 1997 graduate of Montgomery County [High School]; I played football all 4 years here, as well as basketball and track. During my senior year of football, we went 0-10 – I did manage to get a scholarship, along with my brother, and we did continue on to play collegiate football, and my brother actually was fortunate enough to be drafted, play professionally, and go on to win the Super Bowl. One of things that made that possible for both of us was the impact that came from our coach that we had.”
He continued, “During my time here in this high school, it was not a favorable situation as far as coaching is concerned. I had a different high school coach every year that I played high school football, and that had an impact on me as an athlete. I also, after college, was fortunate enough to coach high school football. I coached football in Dublin, GA, and we won the championship in 2006. So, I’ve had the opportunity to be a player, play at the next level, and coach. In being a coach myself, I learned the impact you have on a player as a coach.”
According to Love, coaches often also serve as role models and even father figures for football players, which he said further emphasizes the importance of making sure that young athletes have a stable coaching administration over them so that they made build those bonds. “When you get a situation where that father figure keeps changing every year, it’s very stressful to an athlete,” he said. “You get guys every year that come in here and say, ‘Oh, I love it; I want to stay and be here,’ and the next year, they’re gone. I’ve had one opportunity of sitting in a meeting where a coach told us before he left that he was leaving – that was the only situation where that happened. Everyone else – we just left and came back and had a new coach.”
Love said this type of turnover made things like succeeding in the sport and obtaining scholarships more difficult for many of the athletes. “That’s not something to be taken lightly, neither is the impact that a coach has on an athlete something to be taken lightly,” he remarked. “I have had the opportunity to have interaction with kids that no one else gave a chance in other scenarios and break through and reach them. The expression, ‘Those kids would go through a brick wall for me’ – I’ve seen it because they will do anything for you because you are there every day. They are able to find that sense of camaraderie with their teammates and that male interaction with their coaches. It’s very powerful and exciting to see when you have a kid who doesn’t believe he is capable of doing something, and you encourage him, and he does it, and you get to see the look on his face.”
He also stressed that the current football coach had previously won a state championship in the sport as a defensive coordinator, and that the school should try to retain any football coach who wanted to stay, as he shared he believed the current coach does because of him having bought a house within the county, and that has found that amount of success in the sport.
He also explained that a coach is not defined by the success of their sport’s season, as rebuilding years often happen with schools. “We often say that coaching is not always about the x’s and the o’s, but sometimes, it’s the Jimmy’s and the Joe’s,” Love commented. “Sometimes, you don’t have the Jimmy’s and the Joe’s, and that’s a real thing – there’s nothing you can do about it but continue to establish a system so that regardless of what kind of crop you have, the system will take root.”
Coglin spoke about her nephew’s experience with the coach, sharing that he had helped continue to grow her nephew’s passion for the sport. “With me, it’s more about the children – it’s more about what they like. Knowing that one of them would say that next year, they would rather not play football than deal with a new coach is heartbreaking, They’re just tired,” she told the Board. “We’ve had many great coaches – we just need one here that wants to stay.”
Robinson echoed many of the same sentiments as the other speakers, as he said, “We need someone here is going to be here for the kids.”
He explained that he had previously coached travel football, and had been told by coaches from other states that it was important to build from the bottom. “We need the coach that in it for the long haul. See what the kids have to say, then act on that,” he encouraged. Student Recognitions
Members of the Montgomery County 4-H, Montgomery County High School Future Farmers of America (FFA), and Montgomery County Elementary School Beta Club were recognized during the meeting for their recent excellence at competition.
First, Montgomery County Extension Agent Lauren Braddy and 4-H Program Assistant Julie Waller presented certificates of recognition to several students who recently competed at the District Cloverleaf District Project Achievement (DPA) competition in Lyons on Saturday, November 18.
During the competition, the students, grades 4-7, presented projects discussing topics in various categories, which they had previously researched. The students gave speeches and used visual aids to help them explain the information to several judges.
The students recognized included Ayla Hardeman –Entomology – 1st Place; Italy Thornton – Veterinary Science – 2nd Place; Micheal Nobles – Outdoor Recreation – 2nd Place; Aubree Glisson – Wildlife – 3rd Place; Isaac Nichols – Historic People – 1st Place, $100 h .. s
camp scholarship; Diego Ramirez – Computer Information Technology – 1st Place; Ameliyah Brown – Individual Sports – Honorable Mention; Jedaiah Michael – Workforce Preparation and Career Development – 1st Place; and Isaac Serrano – General Recreation – Honorable Mention.
The group was also recognized at the competition for having the highest percentage participation within their county’s 4-H, as they had 40 students compete, and the second highest amount of students participate within a county.
“This is always a really fun event, and it’s great to be able to see the growth in students as they come back year after year,” Braddy commented on the event.
Waller added, “Also, please thank your principals and administrators for allowing us to come in and work on these projects during the school day because it keeps you from having to pick them up after school, and it also increases the participation. It helps you as a parent, and it helps them and helps us. So, thank you to everyone.”
Montgomery County High School FFA Advisor Brittany Braddy recognized several FFA members who recently competed against around 16 counties in Area Career Development Events (CDE), during which they are tested on knowledge and skill in various topics related to agriculture.
According to Braddy, a total of 11 CDE competitors or teams had compet- continued from page
ed this Fall, and 9 of those competitors and teams placed within the Top 10 of their respective competitions. The competitors were: Katie Powell – Junior Floral Design – 5th in Area; 2nd Highest Design Score Ansleigh Randolph – Senior Floral Design – 6th in Area Brandon Arnsdorff – Tractor Operations and Maintenance Hannah Williamson – Senior Only Employability Skills – Only perfect score in area for cover letter and resume; 3rd in Interview Bray Williamson, Maecon Lynn, Nora Cartwright, Joseph Owens Environmental Natural Resources Team – 8th in Area Emma Durrence – FFA Quiz Joseph Owens (4th in Individual Event), Maecon Lynn (6th in Individual Event), Jamie Brown (11th in Individual Event) — Junior Wildlife Management Team Nora Cartwright (7th in Individual Event), Hannah Williamson (10th in Individual Event), Evan Hardeman (2nd in Individual Event), Luke Burns (13th in Individual Event) — Senior Wildlife Management Team – 8th in Area Kevin Medrano, Alex Cervantes, Sada Claron, Crystal Santiago — Junior Floriculture Team – 2nd in Area, move on to State Competition Ansleigh Randolph (24th Individually), Mya Nichols (17th Individually), Malalie Moody, Arianna Williams — Senior Floriculture Team – 9th in Area Mykel Murray – Lawn Mower Driving, and Operations and Maintenance – 9th in Area Ervin Barbosa, Evan Hardman — EMC Wiring Workshop – Will compete in January.
“We are very appreciative and proud of our students – they put a lot of hard work in and study their tails off for these events,” Braddy commented.
Montgomery County Elementary School Junior Beta Sponsor Whit King recognized Emmett O’Conner for his 4th place finish at the state convention last month for his stand-up comedy routine. “He did a comedy act in front of quite a few people, and he brought home 4th place, so we are really proud of him,” she remarked.
O’Conner performed his comedy routine for the attendees, as he showed why he was deserving of such success in the competition.
Action Items Several personnel decisions were approved by the Board. Resignations were approved for Montgomery County Elementary School Nurse Beth Williamson, effective on December 31, and Assistant Superintendent Brian Barnhill, effective on June 30.
Transfers of several current employees were also accepted by the Board for the upcoming school year, 2023-2024: Pre-K Director Leigh Anne Helms will become the school system Curriculum Director; Montgomery County Middle/ High School Principal Scott Barrow will become the Assistant Superintendent; Montgomery County Elementary School Principal Eric Burns will become the Montgomery County Middle School Principal; Montgomery County High School Assistant Principal Will Adams will become the Montgomery County High School Principal.
The Board also authorized salary stipends for several school club sponsors, a $1,200 lead teacher stipend for Montgomery County Elementary School Teacher Kaylee Coleman, and revised payscales for technology specialists, Special Education paraprofessionals, and registered nurses. Casey Williams was hired as a school nurse for the Montgomery County Elementary School, and Beverly Faircloth will serve as the Interim Curriculum Director at 49%, effective January 2. Lastly, the Board agreed to transfer Montgomery County Middle School Special Education Teacher Lindsey White to the elementary school, and Montgomery County Elementary School Special Education Teacher Callie Higgs to the middle school.
The Board approved to purchase an interactive playground technology set-up that will allow students to combine physical activity with their studies. This software and installation costs $32,500 and will be funded through ESSER funds.
The next two board meeting dates were set – the regular monthly work session for January will be on January 8, while the meeting will be on January 16; the work session for February will be February 8, and the regular meeting will be on February 13. The meeting dates for the rest of the year will be set by the March regular monthly meeting.